[Marxism] FW: Prevent Military and Police Incursion on Mohawk Territories

Richard Fidler rfidler at cyberus.ca
Mon Mar 20 12:37:09 MST 2006


From: NoOneIsIllegal at yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2006 9:43 AM
To: NoOneIsIllegal at yahoogroups.com
Subject: Coalition for Indigenous Soverignty Call to Action:
Prevent Military and Police Incursion on Mohawk Territories


URGENT CALL TO ACTION TO PREVENT MILITARY AND POLICE INCURSION ON 
MOHAWK TERRITORIES

Please forward this email to your networks.  If your group has a 
website, we would be grateful if you posted this call.

March 2006

The Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty - Native Caucus 
is asking that you take some time to phone, email or fax the 
authorities below to register your objection to a potential 
incursion onto Mohawk Territories this spring and at any other 
time.

This request comes as a result of warnings by community leaders in 
Akwesasne, Kahnawake, Kanehsatake and Tyendinega who are preparing 
for a joint Canadian Forces/RCMP raid on April 1, the latest in a 
series of actions designed to destroy the Mohawk tobacco trade.

Our position on this issue is as follows:

In 1876 the Indian Act imposed the band council system of 
government on the indigenous people of Turtle Island (North 
America).  Among other things, this law:

Deposed already existing leadership to establish band councils and 
the areas over which they had jurisdiction.  The Indian Act was 
passed without consultation with any indigenous leader, usurped 
the treaty process (nation to nation agreements) and made First 
Nations governments null and void, despite the fact that these 
governments had served our ancestors for millennia before 
Europeans arrived on Turtle Island.  This is akin to the US 
government passing a law that disbanded the current Canadian 
government, determined what type of government Canada must have 
and designated the limitations of its power.

Made First Nations Communities economically dependent on Ottawa. 
The federal government controls the only sources of revenue for 
social programs, economic development projects or job creation in 
FN communities.  Ottawa determines through a variety of legal and 
financing mechanisms what band councils can and cannot do for 
their communities.  Even the process of pursuing a land claim is 
legislated by Ottawa, funded (or not) by Ottawa and decided 
ultimately in Canadian courts.  Land usage on FN territories is 
determined by Ottawa. There are many examples in history when the 
federal government leased or sold First Nations lands or resources 
and consequently reaped huge profits that did not accrue to the 
community. Clearly, the poverty that exists in First Nations 
communities is, and always has been, by Ottawa's design.

Blatantly discriminated against women by recognizing Native 
descent through the male line so that First Nations citizenship 
rights for women were recognized only through their father's 
lineage and husband's status, and by prohibiting them from voting 
or running for office in band elections. This was a complete 
contradiction to traditional First Nations practices, in which 
descent for many communities was reckoned along the female line, 
and where women had significant authorities in political, economic 
and social life.  While there were many nations and many 
practices, it is safe to generalize and say that women held 
positions of leadership directly and/or appointed male leaders and 
held them accountable.  This was completely overturned by the 
Indian Act.

Although women now have the right to vote and run for band office, 
almost a century of being excluded from political, economic and 
social decision-making has left First Nations women on and off 
reserve in very vulnerable situations. Women are among the poorest 
in First Nations communities.  They have been targeted through 
various amendments to the Indian Act and thousands were stripped 
of their status along with their homes, benefits and any treaty 
rights they may have had.  The hundreds of women who are missing 
from our communities, dead and murdered, is a direct result of a 
deliberate and calculated attack on the rights and authorities of 
First Nations women by the Canadian government.

Determined who could call themselves an "Indian" and live in First 
Nations communities.  The Indian Act established an Indian 
registry and with subsequent amendments there has emerged a 
complex set of legal categories
(status & non-status Indians, Treaty Indians, Bill C-31 Indians, 
etc.) designed to divide and disempower First Nations families and 
communities. Non-status Indians are those who are not recognized 
by Ottawa as First Nations.  They cannot live in their 
communities, do not enjoy benefits or treaty rights and are not 
permitted to participate in band council elections.  Again, this 
is akin to the US determining who could be a Canadian and who 
could not, as well as who could live here and vote in Canadian 
elections.

Initially through the use of Indian agents with sweeping powers 
and more recently through purse strings, Ottawa has controlled 
band councils, band chiefs and the Assembly of First Nations. 
Whether this current control is perceived of as friendly or 
hostile is irrelevant and sidesteps the basic assumption that 
First Nations people are children who cannot manage their own 
affairs.  To recognize that some band councils, their chiefs and 
police are sincerely interested in serving their communities while 
others are corrupt may be true but fails to recognize that the 
band council system is itself inherently corrupt, paternalistic 
and racist.

The Indian Act was and is an instrument of genocide.  Likewise, 
the system of reserves, band councils and taxes are all tools of 
genocide.  At best, the levying of taxes by Canada or the 
provinces on commercial activities within and among First Nations 
communities is an infringement of sovereignty as well as a 
violation of the treaties that exist, not to mention the inherent 
rights of First Nations people.

This is particularly objectionable when the levying of taxes 
applies to transactions involving tobacco.  It was First Nations 
people who developed, cultivated and cared for tobacco plants. 
Our ancestors were the first to understand and benefit from the 
use of tobacco in ceremony (even in times when our ceremonies were 
illegal).  Canada now assumes it has a right to control the 
tobacco trade, which is consistent with its assumption that it has 
a right to control the lives of First Nations people.  Now that 
tobacco is being used to generate income and sustain First 
Nations-owned businesses (an anti-genocidal activity), Ottawa 
wants to step in and crush the initiative.

We reject the portrayal of Mohawk communities as divided between 
the minions of organized crime and law-abiding citizens. 
Mainstream media and Canadian authorities would have us believe 
that thugs are defying legally elected First Nations governments 
and Canadian laws.  Such an analysis does not acknowledge the 
impact of a band council system, imposed, funded and controlled by 
Ottawa. It does nothing to educate us on the long history of 
genocide that remains official policy in this country.  It does 
not examine Ottawa's historic role in sabotaging activities that 
contribute to the economic independence of First Nations people.

On these grounds we are asking that you and your organization fax 
or email the officials below and voice your concerns regarding a 
potential violation of Mohawk sovereignty, which would follow a 
systemic pattern of violations over the years.  Below is a sample 
letter that you can edit, cut and paste into your own email if you 
choose.

Nia:wen / meegwich / thank you for your support. For more 
information contact: daryljamesbucar at yahoo.ca or 
amadahy at rogers.com.


Scroll down for the sample letter.  To voice your concerns send an 
email, phone or fax:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900 pm at pm.gc.ca

Jim Prentice,
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and
Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians
Parliament Hill: House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-4275
Fax: (613) 947-9475
E-Mail: Prentice.J at parl.gc.ca

SAMPLE LETTER


To: Prime Minister Stephen Harper Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian 
Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for 
Metis and Non-Status Indians

I am writing to register my concern regarding ongoing violations 
of Mohawk sovereignty and continued actions that threaten the 
health and safety of the residents of Akwesasne, Kahnawake, 
Kanehsatake and Tyendinega.

I strongly urge you to put a stop to government-sponsored 
activities that portray these communities as being bastions of 
"organized crime" engaged in an illegal tobacco trade. 
Furthermore, I suggest your government cease operating under the 
assumption that Band Councils and the Assembly of First Nations, 
which are funded and controlled by the federal government, are the 
only legitimate representatives of First Nations communities.

Many studies, some commissioned by the federal government (such as 
the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People), have 
determined that the issues confronting First Nations communities 
include sub-standard health care, inadequate and sub-standard 
housing, inadequate employment opportunities, poverty, violence, 
racism, etc.  These studies clearly attribute this set of 
deplorable conditions to the actions and inactions of consecutive 
Canadian governments.

Raiding Mohawk communities and seizing tobacco products does 
nothing to address the day-to-day issues confronting First Nations 
people.  In fact, such activities actually contribute to worsening 
the oppressive conditions under which First Nations people live by 
depriving families of their livelihood as well as assaulting their 
dignity and violating their inherent rights.

Military and police incursions onto First Nations territories are 
not a solution to the long standing issues confronting these 
communities. Moreover such actions shame non-First Nations people, 
many of whom reject complicity in a centuries-old genocide 
project.

Your government has the option of creating a disaster that would 
rival the Oka Crisis, Gustafson Lake and the murder of Dudley 
George put together. Or you can decide to deal with First Nations 
communities in a way that is proactive, peaceful and respectful, 
for the first time in Canadian history.   I strongly urge you opt 
for the latter of the two choices.

Signed,







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